Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 26, 2022

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May

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 26, 2022

Georgia Militia under General John Floyd began rounding up Cherokee Indians on May 26, 1838.

General Robert E. Lee wrote a letter dated May 26, 1861 to Georgia Governor Joseph E. Brown asking the state to send any weapons available for Georgia volunteers who arrived in Virginia unarmed.

The Battle of New Hope Church was fought near Dallas, Georgia May 25-26, 1864 between Confederates under General Joseph E. Johnston and Federal troops under General William T. Sherman.

President Calvin Coolidge signed the “Comprehensive Immigration Act” on May 26, 1924.

Many Americans saw the enormous influx of largely unskilled, uneducated immigrants during the early 1900s as causing unfair competition for jobs and land. Under the new law, immigration remained open to those with a college education and/or special skills, but entry was denied to Mexicans, and disproportionately to Eastern and Southern Europeans and Japanese. At the same time, the legislation allowed for more immigration from Northern European nations such as Britain, Ireland and Scandinavian countries. A quota was set that limited immigration to two percent of any given nation’s residents already in the U.S. as of 1890, a provision designed to maintain America’s largely Northern European racial composition. In 1927, the “two percent rule” was eliminated and a cap of 150,000 total immigrants annually was established.

The law particularly angered Japan, which in 1907 had forged with U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt a “Gentlemen’s Agreement,” which included more liberal immigration quotas for Japan. By 1924, strong U.S. agricultural and labor interests–particularly from California, which had already passed its own exclusionary laws against Japanese immigrants–favored the more restrictive legislation signed by Coolidge. The Japanese government viewed the American law as an insult, and protested by declaring May 26 a national day of humiliation in Japan.

Fort Frederica National Monument was established on St Simons Island, Georgia on May 26, 1936.

Fort Frederica National National Monument on St. Simons Island Fort Frederica National National Monument on St. Simons Island

May 26, 1949 was named Clay Day in Marietta, Georgia in honor of General Lucius Clay, who spoke at the courthouse square.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Georgia State Senator Burt Jones fired off a press release claiming victory in the Republican Primary for Lieutenant Governor.

Today, State Senator and Conservative businessman Burt Jones is declaring victory without a runoff in his Republican Primary election for Lieutenant Governor of Georgia with over 99.37 percent of results reported. Burt won 153 of 159 counties and received over 210,000 more votes than his next closest competitor. Burt appreciates the spirited primary debate from his opponents–and will now work to unify the party ahead of the general election in November against a Democrat opponent yet to be determined. Following his win, Burt issued the following statement:

Burt Jones said,“What a great and hard-fought win! Jan and I are so grateful to the people of Georgia for their vote of confidence, and I am truly honored to be the Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor. This was a spirited campaign–but we worked hard every day to share our positive vision, and it clearly resonated with voters across the state. While we narrowly avoided a runoff, we won 153 of 159 counties and received over 210,000 more votes than our next closest competitor. Now is the time to unite as a party and stand together against whichever Democrat candidate emerges–and I look forward to working together with my primary opponents to do just that.”

“As we shift toward the general election, our message will remain the same: Working together, we’re going to eliminate our state income tax and put money back into the pockets of hardworking Georgians, improve our K-12 education system by empowering parents and teachers, stand with our law enforcement to reduce crime and protect Georgia families, and strengthen the integrity and transparency of our elections.”

“And let me be clear: No matter which Democrat candidate emerges from their intraparty fight, he will have to answer for the skyrocketing inflation, record-high gas prices, surging crime and supply chain issues that Georgians are facing every day due to the failed policies of their party. In the meantime, our campaign will be focused on offering real solutions to these issues and more as we work to improve the lives of every family in our state.”

“Again, thank you for helping us achieve this big win–and rest assured, the best is yet to come as we work toward a big win in November! God Bless!”

The Butch Miller campaign responded that they’ll wait for all the votes to be counted, thank you very much.

“As the candidate who championed the passage of the strongest election law in the country, I know how important it is that every legal vote be counted. As of now, there are still outstanding votes that have not been counted. When the final tally is in, we will know for sure if there will be a runoff or not. Until then, any speculation or political posturing is just that.”

At 9 AM on Thursday, Burt Jones stood at 50.06% of the vote with 99.37% of precincts reporting.

Here’s some good reading for the next couple days:

Politico: ‘We’re going to go f—ing scorched-earth’: How Brian Kemp crushed Trump in Georgia

AJC Greg Bluestein: How Brian Kemp’s ‘scorched earth’ strategy burned David Perdue

Gwinnett County Solicitor General Brian Whiteside was knocked out of office in the Democratic Primary, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Whiteside, who surprised many in own party in 2018 by defeating then-Solicitor General Rosanna Szabo, lost to  Lisamarie Bristol in the Democratic Primary for the solicitor’s office.

Unofficial results, as of 1 a.m., showed Bristol had 55.36% of the votes cast, compared to Whiteside’s 44.64% with 98.72% of the precincts reporting.

There is no Republican running for the office so a victory in the Democratic primary is essentially like winning the seat.

From the AJC:

Whiteside will leave office after one term. He was elected four years ago as Gwinnett’s first Black solicitor general and one of the first Democrats to win countywide office in decades.

The solicitor general prosecutes misdemeanors and county ordinance violations.

In a sign of Gwinnett’s dramatic political shift, both of this year’s solicitor general candidates were Black Democrats. With no Republicans on the ballot, Bristol will run unopposed in the November election.

Whiteside is a colorful figure who grabbed attention during his tenure for ending misdemeanor marijuana prosecutions in Gwinnett — and for attempting to close state court in January amid the omicron wave of COVID-19, earning him a contempt citation that was settled with an apology.

The state ethics commission fined Whiteside last year after he failed to submit campaign disclosures from his 2018 run for more than two years.

Not contesting that office is a failure of huge magnitude for the GOP.

DeKalb County will hand count ballots in the District 2 County Commission open seat election, according to the AJC.

The latest results posted from the contest show Michelle Long Spears in third place, trailing opponents Marshall Orson and Lauren Alexander and on the outside of a would-be runoff. Spears and her campaign, however, have raised questions about the county’s results, which appear to show she garnered zero election day votes at most precincts in the district.

DeKalb elections officials have attributed that to a “display error” created when the name of a fourth candidate who qualified for the race but later withdrew was removed from some results. They said Wednesday they believe their overall vote totals to be accurate.

“We are going to make sure that we are doing our due diligence to make sure what we’re reporting is accurate,” elections director Keisha Smith said.

Orson and Alexander, meanwhile, both wrote on Facebook Wednesday that they were proceeding as if they were in a runoff.

“We think we finished first and are headed to a runoff,” Orson wrote. “But, it is DeKalb so there has to be some drama.”

The brutality of the Rule of Unintended Consequences: House GOP Redistricting Chair loses to colleague after both were redistricted together. From the Gwinnett Daily Post:

State Rep. Bonnie Rich, one of the leaders on redistricting last year and the chairwoman of the House Majority Caucus, has lost her re-election bid to a fellow lawmaker who at one point planned to leave the Georgia House of Representatives only to later to change his mind.

State Rep. David Clark, R-Buford, defeated Rich in the Republican primary for the House District 100 race on Tuesday. Unofficial results show Clark received 59.24% of the votes cast in the race, compared to 40.76% for Rich with all of the precincts counted.

“This wasn’t a David Clark win,” said Clark in a message to supporters on Twitter. “This was a win against the machine. The voters were clear this seat isn’t for sale. Thank you to all the voters of HD100 for sending me back to the Capitol to be your voice! I will continue putting you first and doing what’s right no matter what.”

Rich had also led the Georgia House committee on redistricting last year, which resulted in maps for Georgia’s congressional and legislative seats.

“Bonnie Rich did serious harm to Gwinnett County voters when she infamously usurped the local redistricting process to replace the people’s maps with maps she single-handedly drew to undermine the will of the people,” state Rep. Jasmine Clark, D-Lilburn, said in a Twitter post on Wednesday. “Last night, she lost her seat.”

The campaign was a bit unusual because Clark had announced last year that he would not run for another term in the Georgia House of Representatives, only to turn around in February and announce he intended to run again. There is an ethics complaint which has been filed against Clark — who is a frequent critic of Speaker of the House David Ralston — that accused the lawmaker of improperly listing thousands of dollars in campaign reimbursements. The complaint did not specify which reimbursements it was referring to, however.

Rich had also attacked him missing all of the special session, where congressional and General Assembly redistricting was handled, and most of the 2022 legislative term.

From the AJC:

Buford state Rep. David Clark has been a pain in House Speaker David Ralston’s backside in recent years, and Tuesday he delivered another blow.

Clark ousted Rep. Bonnie Rich, R-Suwanee, in the Republican primary for the newly drawn House District 100 in Gwinnett, Forsyth and Hall counties. Rich chaired the House Redistricting Committee that drew the district maps.

Most incumbents cruised to easy wins on Tuesday in the new districts, which were drawn last year in such a partisan way that the candidate who wins the primary will likely win in the November general election as well.

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